10 Best Hydration Packs


Outdoor enthusiasts know how important it is to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s tough to have enough water to drink when you’re on the move; hiking, biking, climbing, or running. It’s great to have a water bottle with you, but hydration packs allow you to carry more water, more conveniently. 

However, there’s no one size fits all hydration pack option as they’ve all been created specifically for different activities. This guide will tell you what to look for and the best hydration packs for you to choose from.

Quick Answer: The Best Hydration Packs

What to Look for in a Good Hydration Pack

You should consider the following things before choosing your new hydration pack.

1. Type of Hydration Pack

It’s important to find a pack designed to match whatever activity you’ll be doing. There are two main types of hydration packs. 

Hydration waist packs fit around your waist and often include a water bottle instead of a reservoir. They have less space for gear and are ideal for quick adventures when you don’t want to be hindered by a backpack.

Hydration backpacks are worn on your back and typically have a reservoir that will hold more water than a typical water bottle. There are several types of hydration backpacks and each type is geared toward a different activity. 

  • Hiking Packs: A lighter version of a hiking backpack, this type of pack has the most storage. They range in size, but if you’re going on an extended adventure you can get one that’s large enough for food, gear, and extra clothes.
  • Running Packs: Running with a hydration pack can be tough, so be sure you get one that you’re comfortable running in. A hydration running pack is similar to a daypack in that it typically has a hipbelt and several pockets. Unlike daypacks, they have a low-profile design and are better for longer runs.
  • Biking / Cycling Packs: Cycling packs are designed with waist belts that won’t interfere with your pedaling. They are compact, feel stable, and shouldn’t cause much wind resistance. You may see some specifically for mountain biking or road cycling. The mountain biking packs are usually larger and can accommodate more gear.
  • Ski & Snow Hydration Packs: These hydration backpacks are specifically designed for winter sport lovers. They’re different because the pack and drink tube are insulated to prevent water from freezing. Some also include straps so you don’t have to carry your snowboard or skis.

2. Gear Capacity

Being hydrated is important, but you also want to make sure you’re able to comfortably carry the rest of your gear. Just like standard backpacks, hydration packs come in a variety of sizes. For longer hikes, consider a pack that’s at least 20 liters. Many of the specialized hydration packs for running, biking, and hiking will have several options between 5 and 20 liters. Anything less than 5 liters is good for minimalists whether running, hiking, or cycling.

Before choosing a capacity, carefully consider how much gear you’ll need to take with you and how much space it requires. And remember, the larger the backpack the more it’s likely to weigh. When considering the weight, double check whether or not the number shown includes the weight of the reservoir or only the weight of the pack.

3. Reservoir Capacity

You want to make sure your pack holds enough water to keep you hydrated during your adventures. A standard single-use water bottle is about 0.5 liters. Reservoirs can range from around that size to more than 3 liters. When thinking about capacity, also keep in mind that 1 liter of water weighs 2 – 2.5 pounds.

Reservoirs around 2.5 liters tend to be the most popular. Anything smaller is great for short-distance trips and anything larger is a good idea if water won’t be readily available on your trip or you don’t want to take the time to stop and refill the reservoir.

4. Fit

For the best fit, measure your torso, waist, and hips before buying a pack. These measurements can be used against size guides to help you pick the correct fit.

5. Extra Features

Here are some additional features that can be beneficial, but aren’t on every hydration pack:

  • Hipbelt: Most hydration packs have a hipbelt. These are designed to relieve your shoulders of weight and transfer it onto your hips, making the carrying experience more comfortable.
  • Waterproof Cover: If there’s a chance you’ll get caught in the rain then consider getting a raincover to prevent damage to your gear.
  • Shutoff Bite Valve: These prevent water from leaking out. Some valves have a switch that shuts it off and others have a valve that you twist to open or close it.
  • Wide Opening: A wide opening will make it easier for you to clean your reservoir well. If you can’t fit your hand inside the reservoir to clean it then you’ll need to buy a cleaning kit to make sure your reservoir gets a thorough cleaning.
  • Disconnecting Tube: Some packs include a button that allows you to disconnect the tube from the reservoir. This is convenient when you want to remove the reservoir from the pack to refill it in the middle of your run, bike, or hike without having to remove the tube from the pack itself.
  • Number of Portals: The portal is the space where the drinking tube exits the pack so you can drink from it. Some packs have only one, but two portals give you more flexibility of where your tube is positioned.
  • Shoulder Strap Clip: A shoulder strap clip helps keep your tube in place when you’re on the go. This is especially helpful if you’re cycling or running and don’t want to stop to adjust your tube every time you want to take a drink.

Best Hydration Pack Reviews

Now that you know what to look for, here are the best hydration backpacks currently available.

Best Overall Hydration Packs

1. Kuyou Hydration Pack

Kuyou Hydration Pack

Best Use: Running, Cycling
Gear Capacity: 0.5 L
Liquid Capacity: 70 fl. oz.
Weight: 15.8 oz.

You can use the Kuyou Hydration Pack for any of your lightweight adventures. Its high-quality nylon is lightweight and offers breathability to keep you comfortable no matter where you are. The shoulder straps are adjustable and the wide, webbed design helps reduce the stress on your shoulders. Included is a 2-liter bladder with an easy-to-use nozzle that allows for convenient drinking. The pack includes multiple pockets as well as an adjustable bungee strap so you can attach extras like your travel jacket or travel umbrella to the outside of your pack. The Kuyou Hydration Pack has been put through multiple tests to ensure it’s leakproof, pressure-tolerant, and can follow you on your adventures for years to come.

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Best Hydration Packs for Hiking

2. Gregory Nano H2O 18L Hydration Pack

Gregory Nano H2O 18L Hydration Pack

Best Use: Hiking
Gear Capacity: 18 L
Liquid Capacity: 101 fl. oz.
Weights: 1 lbs.

One of the best hiking hydration packs on the market, Gregory created a pack that can hold all of your necessities for spontaneous adventures. The 18-liter top-access backpack measures 20” x 10” x 7” and has a 3-liter reservoir with a wide-mouth opening. The frameless pack includes a main compartment, two zipper pockets, and a side mesh pocket. The attachment loops secure your accessories and the hipbelt is removable. It fits torsos between 14”-19” and waists between 28”-48”. The Gregory Nano H2O 18L Hydration Pack is the perfect companion for everything from day hikes to weekend trips. 

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3. REI Co-op Trail Hydro 30L Hydration Pack

REI Co-op Trail Hydro 30L Hydration Pack

Best Use: Hiking
Gear Capacity: 30 L
Liquid Capacity: 101 fl. oz.
Weight: 2 lbs. 1.5 oz.

If you want to be comfortable on longer hikes, check out the REI Co-op Trail Hydro 30L Hydration Pack. The 30-liter pack has padded shoulder straps, a hipbelt, and sternum strap to promote comfort while you’re exploring nature. The 20” x 12” x 8” pack has a 3-liter reservoir and more than enough space for your gear in the main compartment as well as six additional pockets. It has a high-flow bite valve that seals each time you drink from it, and twists off and on to prevent leaks when you’re not using it. This hydro backpack has panel access and also includes external daisy-chain attachment points so you can secure your trekking poles and other gear to your pack. It’s designed for waists between 28”-44” and torsos between 17”-20”. For a larger pack that’ll still be comfortable to carry, you’ll love the REI Co-op Trail Hydro 30L Hydration Pack.

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4. Osprey Manta 34 Hydration Pack

Osprey Manta 34 Hydration Pack

Best Use: Hiking
Gear Capacity: 34 L
Liquid Capacity: 85 fl. oz.
Weight: 3 lbs. 1.4 oz.

When it comes to large backpacks with water reservoirs, the Osprey Manta 34 Hydration Pack more than deserves your attention. This 34-liter pack gives you panel-access to the main compartment and seven additional pockets to store important gear like your pocket camera or extra clothing. Included dual lower and upper compression straps are convenient for securing and balancing your load. The pack measures 22” x 14” x 14” and weighs 3 pounds 1.4 ounces. The 2.5-liter reservoir features a quick-disconnecting tube, a wide-mouth opening, and a bite valve shut-off switch. Additional bonuses are an integrated rain cover and a 3D tensioned back panel to improve load transfer and ventilation. If you love the idea of this pack but it’s a bit too large for your liking, the Osprey Mira 32 Hydration Pack is the women’s version that’s slightly smaller but still has all the incredible features of the men’s version. With everything it has to offer, it’s hard to beat this Osprey hydration pack.

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5. TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack

Best Use: Hiking
Gear Capacity: 18 L
Liquid Capacity: 68 fl. oz.
Weight: 2 lbs.

Whether you’re going hiking or backpacking, the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack is a great choice to carry your gear and water. The two-pound pack includes adjustable chest, shoulder, and waist bands to help you get a personalized fit while the chest strap absorbs shock and reduces bouncing. The 600D honeycomb ripstop pack has an 18-liter capacity and a 2-liter reservoir with a 2” opening for ice and easy cleaning. The integrated rain cover is sewn in and stored in the bottom of the pack so you don’t have to be concerned about misplacing it. The TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack measures 18.5” x 10” x 7” and is a high-quality option if you want to use the pack for a variety of outdoor adventures.

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6. Hydro Flask Down Shift 14 Hydration Pack

Hydro Flask Down Shift 14 Hydration Pack

Best Use: Hiking, Cycling
Gear Capacity: 14 L
Liquid Capacity: 68 fl. oz.
Weight: 2 lbs. 11.2 oz.

The frameless Hydro Flask Down Shift 14 Hydration Pack is best for cycling or hiking. The 14-liter pack has a 2-liter reservoir that’s located in the lumbar region to give you more stability and a lower center of gravity. The Cold Flow™ system and IsoBound™ insulation can keep your water cold for more than four hours. The 210D mini-ripstop nylon material is resistant to abrasions, punctures, and tears which increases its durability and longevity. The pack has top and panel access, a hipbelt, and a suspended mesh back panel. Measuring 18” x 10” x 7” and weighing 2 pounds 11.2 ounces, the Hydro Flask Down Shift 14 Hydration Pack will exceed your expectations whether you’re hiking or biking.

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Best Hydration Packs for (Mountain) Biking

7. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

Best Use: Cycling, Running
Gear Capacity: 0 L
Liquid Capacity: 50 fl. oz.
Weight: 5.3 oz.

The CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack is an ideal choice for ultralight biking. Designed for minimalists, it’s the best mountain biking hydration pack because it has enough space for the 1.5-liter reservoir and small essentials like keys in a zippered pocket, but it won’t weigh you down. The pack measures 12.6” x 8.5” x 3.9” and weighs just 5.3 ounces. To promote comfort, the mesh harness is ventilated and the back panel offers excellent breathability. The reservoir has an ergonomic handle to simplify the refilling process, and the drinking tube has a leak-proof on/off lever so you won’t risk wasting water. Whether you’re cycling in Taiwan or down the street, this Camelbak backpack works perfectly for those who want to bike with a lightweight pack.

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8. CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack

Best Use: Cycling, Running
Gear Capacity: 9 L
Liquid Capacity: 100 fl. oz.
Weight: 1 lbs. 6 oz.

The CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack is designed for those who value stability and organization while biking. This 1.37-pound pack gives you 9 liters of storage and a 3-liter reservoir. The reservoir has an on/off lever to prevent leaks and the ergonomic handle makes it simple to refill. Stability and a comfortable fit are promoted by the removable stability belt and the adjustable sternum strap. The harness is breathable and lightweight, while the back panel promotes airflow to keep you cool while pedaling. Included attachment points let you secure your helmet, pads, or other gear. At 17.7” x 1.4” x 9.1”, the CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack offers impressive stability even on rough terrain.

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9. Osprey Raptor 10 Bike Hydration Backpack

Osprey Raptor 10 Bike Hydration Backpack

Best Use: Cycling, Hiking, Skiing
Gear Capacity: 10 L
Liquid Capacity: 85 fl. oz.
Weight: 1 lbs. 9.4 oz.

Premium backpacks with hydration reservoirs that don’t bust your budget can be difficult to find. The Osprey Raptor 10 Bike Hydration Backpack is an outlier because it won’t cost an arm and a leg but it’s still a high-quality pack with several convenient features. The Osprey Raven 10 is the women’s version and it has the same capacity and features as the men’s, but is slightly smaller. The men’s 10-liter pack measures 9” x 9” x 19”, weighs 1.59 pounds, and includes a 2.5-liter reservoir. A magnetized shoulder strap allows for easy bite valve placement and the pack includes an attachment for a helmet. Dual hipbelt pockets give you easy access to smaller items you want nearby and the scratch-free slash pocket lets you store things like sunglasses and a small travel wallet. There’s a dedicated section for bike tools in the main compartment, and the lower compartment includes a roll-up pouch to organize additional tools. A reflective patch and a blinker light attachment are also included for enhanced safety. Osprey has been creating high-quality gear since 1974, and these packs are no different.

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Best Hydration Pack for Runners

10. Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack

Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack

Best Use: Running, Cycling
Gear Capacity: 0.5 L
Liquid Capacity: 70 fl. oz.
Weight: 12.8 oz.

At only 12.8 ounces, this is one of the best running hydration packs you’ll find. The Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack is made of waterproof nylon and includes a 2-liter bladder. The reservoir has a large opening for ice and easy cleaning, a quick-release connection, and can even double as a travel pillow if necessary. The pack has a breathable mesh back, adjustable chest strap, and adjustable, breathable shoulder straps so you remain cool and the load will remain stable throughout your run. You’ll have two individual zipper pockets as well as a large mesh pocket to store your gear. The Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack Pack is an ultralight pack you’ll barely notice wearing.

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While hydration packs are relatively new compared to backpacks and water bottles, you’ll appreciate the convenience they offer. You’ll no longer have to rely on bottles of water that can be finished in seconds, and you’ll still have enough space for your gear. Whether you’re hiking, biking, snowboarding, or running, you can find a hydration pack that will fit your style of adventure.



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